A few years ago, I posted something about a model some folks at Mercer had come up with they used to predict which schools recruits were likely to choose. They concluded thusly:
… high school athletes prefer winning programs that are close to home, are in possession of good physical facilities, and are in good graces with the NCAA. Interestingly enough however, reduced scholarships increase the likelihood of choosing a particular school, holding all else constant… [Emphasis added.]
They claimed about a 70% accuracy rate with their model, by the way.
I wonder, though, in an age of smart phones, Twitter and the Internet if it’s getting harder for schools to seal the borders. David Cutcliffe thinks it is.
Cutcliffe, in a recent interview, lifted a smart phone in his right hand to explain.
“This has changed everything,” he said. “We hear that the world is flat now. Well, recruiting is flat. There’s more range in recruiting because of technology. It’s still about communication and building relationships, but that’s a lot easier for me to do with a youngster in Los Angeles than it was years ago.”
The article goes on to note…
Less than two weeks before signing day, of the 30-player pool composed of the top 10 committed prospects in Florida, California and Texas, 43 percent have committed to play or already enrolled at programs out of their home state.
That’s an increase of more than 10 percent from 2006.
Now some of that may be due to what’s transpired at Texas over the last year or so, with Mack Brown being widely perceived as a lame duck and Charlie Strong just hitting the recruiting trail. But I do wonder if there’s something to what Cutcliffe says. Besides the technology, there’s also the increasing saturation of televised college football. Play in the right conference and a student-athlete’s family isn’t going to miss seeing him play, no matter the distance between home and school.
Just something to ponder the next time somebody yells about a top Georgia kid going outside the state to play ball.